Ginger Spice Cake with Lemon Frosting

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I remember these delicious ginger sandwich cookies with lemon creme in the middle that we would eat on roadtrips ‘for nausea.’ I really like that combination of flavors, so I took this recipe and changed it up a bit. This is a great recipe, and the basic components make it practically a meal! So you can truly eat cake for breakfast and not feel bad about it. The original recipe is really good, although a bit spice-heavy, so I toned it down a notch this time. I know I’m going to keep coming back to this recipe when I want a foolproof cake. I look forward to changing up the flavors and tasting the results.

Cake Ingredients

1c canned pumpkin

1c almond butter

1/3c cocoa powder

2 eggs

1/4t salt

1/2t baking soda

1 1/2t baking powder

2t vanilla

2in fresh ginger, grated

1/8t cloves

1/2t cinnamon

1/2t ginger

1/4t allspice

1/4t nutmeg

dash fresh ground black pepper

6 packets stevia (~5T sugar)

Frosting Ingredients

1c sweet potato puree

2T coconut oil, melted

2 packets stevia

1t vanilla

zest and juice of 1 lemon

Combine all cake ingredients in a bowl and stir till thoroughly mixed. Pour into a greased 8×8 pan and bake at 350 for 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

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To get sweet potato puree, bake in a 400 degree oven for about 40 minutes. Peel, and run flesh through a food processor till smooth. (Eat that peel! It’s got the good stuff in it.) Add other frosting ingredients to the food processor and mix. Adjust sweetener and lemon juice to taste. I like mine really tangy, but you may want less lemon juice.

While frosting is warm, spread it on the cake. It will set up once its cooled. Either serve immediately or wait, if you can.

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The cake is dense and moist, and the bright citrus flavor is a nice contrast to the spices. Don’t be worried about the frosting tasting like potatoes, because it just tastes sweet and lemony. I can’t help sneaking bites of this out of the fridge…

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Chocolate Caramel Brownies with Coffee and Sea Salt

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There’s a really great combination of flavors in this easy dessert. The hints of coffee and bits of salt keep you coming back for more. Recipe taken from here.

Brownie layer:

12 dates

1/2c almond butter

1/4c Unsweetened shredded coconut

2T honey

4T cocoa powder

1t cinnamon

Caramel layer:
12 dates, soaked in water for an hour and drained
1/3c coconut milk
3T water
1t vanilla
dash salt
 
Chocolate topping:
1c chocolate chips
1/4c coconut milk
2t fresh coffee grounds
coarse sea salt for sprinkling
 
Brownie layer: mix all ingredients in food processor. Press into a loaf pan to form the crust. Note: my 9×9 pan was a bit too big, but it worked out since I lined it with parchment paper to prevent any sticking.
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Caramel layer: Make your caramel in the food processor, adding the water as you blend. You may not need much, depending on how you drained the dates. Err on the thicker side, as the caramel will not set any once you’ve finished. This should take about 3 minutes of processing. Spread caramel evenly over the brownie crust.
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Chocolate topping: Melt chocolate chips and coconut milk in a double boiler or microwave. Once it’s melted evenly, add coffee grounds and stir. Spread chocolate gently over the caramel layer and sprinkle with sea salt. Allow chocolate to harden in the fridge or freezer, cut into squares, and enjoy! I think this dessert is best served at room temperature, but who really wants to wait for it to warm up?
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Coconut Mango Sorbet with Ginger

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One night after dinner I wanted something sweet and fruity, so I threw together this incredibly simple sorbet. Mango is perfect for sorbet, since there are no pesky seeds or skin to worry about.

 

Ingredients:

2c frozen mango chunks, thawed in water for 5 minutes, then drained.

3T coconut cream

1/2 inch of fresh ginger

shredded unsweetened coconut to garnish

 

Puree mango in food processor with ginger; add coconut cream and blend. Serve in vintage champagne coupes if you’re feeling fancy. Garnish with shredded coconut. Makes 2 servings. (Or 1, if we’re being real, here…)

 

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Pineapple Mint Granita

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It’s probably a good thing I don’t own an ice cream maker. I would experiment all the time. I tried to make a simple sorbet in my Cuisinart food processor, but it ended up being more like a granita. Satisfying nonetheless.

After shredding 1/2c of fresh mint leaves, I added frozen pineapple and pineapple juice until it looked like the right consistency. I froze it and took it out every few hours to stir so it wouldn’t become a solid block. But it still sort of did, anyway. After it was frozen it went back into the food processor and then back into the freezer for good. (An old Talenti gelato container was the perfect size for storage).

It was probably for the best that it had a granita, not sorbet, consistency, as it slowed down my consumption speed. I look forward to playing around with other fruits and herbs to see what works.

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